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Rolls-Royce has best quarter in 116 years, as the wealthy snap up $400,000 luxury cars

NBC News logo NBC News 4/8/2021 Robert Frank, CNBC
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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars had its best quarter in its 116-year history, setting a new sales record in the first quarter, as the world’s wealthy snapped up its $330,000 SUV and other models.

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The luxury car company, which is owned by BMW, delivered 1,380 cars in the first quarter, up 62 percent from the same quarter in 2020 as the pandemic started impacting sales and manufacturing. The quarter set a new record for the company, surpassing its previous high in 2019.

The company said demand is especially strong for its the Cullinan, its nearly three-ton SUV that starts at $335,000 but typically sells for over $400,000 with options and customizations. Sales are also strong for its new Ghost model, which starts around $332,000 and has an optional LED-lit interior roof to simulate a starry sky.

Rolls-Royce’s record-breaking quarter offers the latest sign that the world’s wealthy, who have added trillions of dollars to their wealth since the start of the pandemic thanks to rising markets, are ready to spend. Other high-end car companies, like Bentley and Lamborghini, have also seen strong recent sales.

Rolls-Royce said demand continues to remain strong “with order books extending well into the second half of 2021.”

“We’ve responded to recent challenges with our customary boldness, imagination and inventiveness, underpinned by meticulous planning and a relentless focus on our customers’ needs and requirements,” the company’s CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said in a statement.

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